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Social Security death benefits


In certain scenarios, the spouse and/or dependent children may be entitled to survivor benefits through Social Security.  Please read the following information carefully to learn what benefits may be available.


A one-time payment of $255 will be paid to the surviving spouse.  To initiate the claim, and other survivor benefits, call the Reading Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213.

Certain family members may be eligible to receive monthly benefits, Including:


  • A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled);
  • A surviving spouse at any age who is caring for the deceased's child under age 16 or disabled;
  • An unmarried child of the deceased who is younger than age 18 (or age 18 or 19 if he or she is a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school); or age 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22;
  • Parents, age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support; and
  • A surviving divorced spouse, under certain circumstances.

The Social Security website is a valuable resource for information about all of Social Security's programs. There are a number of things you can do online.

In addition to using the Social Security website, you can call them toll-free at 1-800-772-1213.  Staff can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.  They can also provide information by automated phone service 24 hours a day.  If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call the TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.

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